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The Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) 2021
January 10, 2021

Alumni of U.S. State Department exchange programs:  You are invited to submit your proposals and compete for an award of up to $50,000 to make your community project idea a reality!

The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) is pleased to announce the FY 2021 Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund (AEIF) Competition. 

AEIF offers alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs the opportunity to propose innovative projects that will contribute to international development and the strengthening of ties between the United States and other countries.

Projects may include alumni from different exchange programs. Proposals generally should be in the range of $10,000 to $50,000.

Applicants must complete and submit a detailed AEIF2021 Budget Form. Applications must submit a full project description, including a detailed narrative that outlines the plan of action, describing the scope of the proposed work and how it will be accomplished. The narrative should be accompanied by a details budget that includes all program costs.

The submitted proposal must include a clear explanation of how the project advances the U.S.-Kuwait relationship by:

  1. Preparing students in Kuwait to attend U.S. universities, whether through English or college readiness training, college advising, or other means.
  2. Strengthening the ability of marginalized communities, youth, and women to participate fully in the political process and the economy.
  3. Improving intellectual property rights awareness and enforcement.
  4. Promoting people-to-people ties between the United States and Kuwait through educational, cultural, or civic activities that engage youth and young professionals in Kuwait.
  5. Fostering innovative approaches to solving social, economic, or political issues.
  6. Promoting community resiliency during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alumni may submit project proposals and budgets, in English only through Public Affairs Section at the following email address:  IbrahimA1@state.gov

Applications will be reviewed based on their completeness, coherence, clarify and attention to details.

Project and Budget Periods:  Local grants projects must be completed in one year or less.

Deadline: Proposals should be submitted no later Monday, May 31, 2021.

Applicants should expect to be notified of whether their proposal has been approved within one month after submission.


  • Each alumni team must use the official AEIF 2021 Proposal Form (either in Word or PDF) and AEIF2021 Budget Form (in Excel) forms to submit its respective project application
  • Each project proposal must include the involvement of at least two alumni or an alumni association
  • Proposals may request from $10,000 up to $50,000
  • Items valued at $200.00 or more must be itemized.  Related costs should not be lumped together (i.e. lodging, meals, and per diem should be separate line items)
  • Submitted proposal must include a clear explanation of how the project advances the U.S.-Kuwait relationship.
  • All project activities must take place outside of the United States and its territories
  • U.S. citizen alumni may participate as team members in a project, however, there must be foreign alumni included in the project
  • Projects may include alumni from different exchange programs and different countries
  • All proposals must identify the alumni involved in the project (alumni’ names, which exchange program(s) attended, and when – MM/YYYY)


AEIF 2021 can support the following:

  • Intra-regional or in-country transportation
  • Rental of venues for project activities
  • PPE and sanitizing equipment
  • Meals/refreshments integral to the project (i.e. working lunch for a meeting)
  • Reasonable costs to support virtual programming (i.e. subscription to Zoom, WebEx, camera/microphones for virtual meetings, mailing services, etc.)
  • Trainer or speaker honoraria expenses (I.e. maximum $200/day fee, travel, lodging, per diem)
  • Reasonable equipment and materials
  • Communications and publicity materials, such as manuals or project advertisements


AEIF 2021 will not support the following:

  • Any airfare to/from the United States and its territories
  • Activities that take place in the United States and its territories
  • Staff salaries, office space, and overhead/operational expenses
  • Large items of durable equipment or construction programs
  • Alcohol, excessive meals, refreshments, or entertainment
  • Academic or scientific research
  • Charitable or development activities
  • Provision of direct social services to a population
  • Individual scholarships
  • Social travel/visits
  • Gifts or prizes
  • Duplication of existing programs
  • Institutional development of an organization
  • Venture capital, for-profit endeavors, or charging a fee for participation in project
  • Support for specific religious activities
  • Fund-raising campaigns
  • Support or opposition of partisan political activity or lobbying for specific legislation